1871 1872 1873 - 1874 - 1875 1876 1877
1840s 1850s 1860s - 1870s - 1880s 1890s 1900s
18th century - 19th century - 20th century
1874 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar).
January - April
- January 1 - New York City annexes The Bronx
- January 23 - Marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, to Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, only daughter of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.
- January 23 - Camille Saint-Saëns' composition Danse Macabre is premiered.
- January - Signing of the Pangkor Treaty (also known as the Pangkor Engagement), by which the British extended their control over, first the Sultanate of Perak and later the other independent Malay States.
- February 21 - The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first newspaper.
- February 23 - Walter Clopton Wingfield patents a game called "sphairistike" which is more commonly called lawn tennis.
- March 18 - Hawaii signs a treaty with the United States granting exclusive trading rights.
- March - founding of a Young Men's Hebrew Association in Manhattan which still operates today as the 92nd Street Y
May - August
- 9 May - The first horse drawn carriage made its début in the city of Mumbai, plying on two routes.
- May 20 - Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a US patent for blue jeans with copper rivets
- July 1 - the first public zoo in the U.S. opens, at Philadelphia.
- July 24 - Mathew Evans and Henry Woodward patent the first incandescent lamp with an electric light bulb.
September - December
- October 19 - modern University of Zagreb founded in Zagreb
- November 7 - A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party .
- November 10 - John Ernst Worrell Keely demonstrates his "induction resonance motion motor" (later investigation reveals fraud behind another perpetual motion machine)
- November 25 - The United States Greenback Party is established as a political party made primarily of farmers financially hurt by the Panic of 1873.
- Iceland is granted a constitution and limited home rule.
- Home Rule Movement created to protest British Government control over Ireland. (see History of Ireland)
- First Impressionist exhibition, Paris; name coined in hostile review of Claude Monet's Impression, Sunrise
- Opening of the Agra canal in India.
- Charles Russell's Bible Students group (Now known as Jehovah's Witnesses) first claims this year to be the invisible return of Jesus Christ to earth, before shifting to the currently believed year of 1914.
January to June
- January 1 - Gustav Albin Weißkopf , German-American aviation pioneer (d. 1927)
- January 4 - Josef Suk, Czech composer and violinist (d. 1935)
- January 16 - Robert W. Service, American poet (d. 1958)
- January 20 - Steve Bloomer, English footballer, cricketer and baseball player (d. 1938)
- January 21 - Frederick Madison Smith, American religious leader and author (d. 1946)
- January 25 - William Somerset Maugham, English author (d. 1965)
- January 29 - John D. Rockefeller Jr., American entrepreneur (d. 1960)
- February 1 - Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian writer (d. 1929)
- February 3 - Gertrude Stein, American writer and patron of the arts (d. 1946)
- February 9 - Amy Lowell, American poet (d. 1925)
- February 11 - Elsa Beskow, Swedish writer (d. 1953)
- February 11 - Fritz Bennicke Hart, English-born Australian composer (d. 1949)
- February 15 - Sir Ernest Shackleton, Irish explorer (d. 1922)
- February 17 - Thomas J. Watson, American computer pioneer (d. 1956)
- February 24 - Honus Wagner, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1955)
- March 20 - Börries von Münchhausen, German poet (d. 1945)
- March 24 - Harry Houdini, Hungarian-American magician (d. 1926)
- March 26 - Robert Frost, American poet (d. 1963)
- March 29 - Lou Hoover, First Lady of the United States (d. 1944)
- April 8 - Stanisław Taczak, Polish general, commander-in-chief of the Greater Poland Uprising (1918-1919) against the Germans (d.1960)
- April 15 - Johannes Stark, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957)
- April 19 - Ernst Rudin, Swiss psychiatrist and geneticist (d. 1952)
- April 25 - Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 1937)
- May 3 - François Coty, French perfume manufacturer (d. 1934)
- May 9 - Howard Carter, British archaeologist (d. 1939)
- May 14 - Polaire, French actress and singer (d. 1939)
- May 19 - Gilbert Jessop; English cricketer (d. 1955).
- May 29 - Gilbert Keith Chesterton, English author (d. 1936)
- June 11 - Lyman Gilmore, American aviation pioneer (d. 1951)
- June 16 - Arthur Meighen, ninth Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1960)
July to December
- July 14 - Abbas II, last khedive of Egypt (d. 1944)
- July 26 - Serge Koussevitsky, Russian conductor (d. 1951)
- July 29 - J.S Woodsworth, Canadian politician (d. 1942)
- August 6 - Charles Fort, writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena
- August 27 - Carl Bosch, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1940)
- September 13 - Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian composer (d. 1951)
- September 21 - Gustav Holst, English composer (d. 1934)
- October 20 - Charles Ives, American composer (d. 1954)
- October 26 - Martin Lowry, English chemist (d. 1936)
- November 30 - Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (d. 1965)
- November 30 - Lucy Maude Montgomery, Canadian author (d. 1942)
- December 13 - Josef Lhévinne, Russian pianist (d. 1944)
- December 17- William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1950)
- December 22 - Franz Schmidt, Austrian composer (d. 1939)
- January 8 - Abbé Charles-Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, French writer and historian (b. 1814)
- January 19 - August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, German poet (b. 1798)
- February 8 - David Friedrich Strauss, German theologian (b. 1808)
- March 8 - Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States (b. 1800)
- June 20 - John Ruggles, American politician
- June 21 - Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist (b. 1814)
- July 24 - Gijsbert Haan, Dutch-American religious leader (b. 1801)
- October 6 - Samuel M. Kier, American oil magnate (b. 1813)
- December 7 - Constantin von Tischendorf, German Biblical scholar (b. 1815)
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